Today marks one full year since I started working as a youth minister in Duluth. It’s been a lot of things, both incredible and challenging, but I think St. John Paul II sums it up best when he said, “Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure.”
Following the call to up and move to a completely new city was a little bit intimidating for me a year ago, and I didn’t know what this new place and new time in my life would hold. But I did know that Jesus was bringing me on an adventure and He would be with me. Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure.
This was very exciting in the beginning. I was blown away by the beauty of the city of Duluth and the beauty of Lake Superior. I loved meeting a whole new community of people and seeing the witness of their faith. I couldn’t believe how generous people were with me in helping me to get set up. I felt more alive than I ever had in my life, because I had trusted the Lord and taken a leap of faith. I couldn’t believe that God’s plan could be so good. Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure.
About halfway through this year, the adventure stopped being exciting for me. The wood of the cross was very real, and daily life was exhausting. I wondered what happened to the exciting adventure the Lord had promised me. I wondered if I had done something wrong. I found myself in the middle of a lot of confusion. Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure, but in those confusing and desolate moments, it didn’t feel so wonderful.
But then the Lord reminded me of something important. An adventure, to be real, to be meaningful, cannot just be exciting. It can’t stay at the mountain top. A real adventure is taxing. A real adventure empties us. A real adventure takes everything in us. A real adventure takes us to somewhere we’ve never been before, and in that new place we are unable to remain the same. Saying yes to adventure with Christ, means saying no to staying the same. Saying yes to adventure with Christ, means saying yes a real adventure. Saying yes to adventure with Christ, means saying yes to an entirely new life. Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure.
My adventure with Jesus in Duluth is only beginning. It seems that this first year has only been the start of the adventure Jesus has for me here. I am pretty confident that exciting moments as well as trying moments are in my future here. But one thing I do know, is that you can’t go wrong going where Jesus is. Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure.
Jesus never promised us that life would be easy. In fact, He said if we want to follow Him than we have to pick up our cross and follow Him. I forgot that in the excitement of the new adventure. But He loves us too much not to give us the opportunity to have a real adventure with Him; a real adventure that stretches us, challenges us, allows us to become the people we are created to be, people who are His image in the world. Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure.
I am so grateful that He has more than the mountaintop in store for me. I am so grateful that He loves me enough to transform me into Himself. And I am so grateful to be right in the middle of this adventure, commonly known as youth ministry. Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure.
As I embark upon year two, following where Jesus leads, I have only two words: “adventure on.”